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Help with Organizing Collection for Display

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Help with Organizing Collection for Display

Old 07-20-16, 11:22 AM
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Help with Organizing Collection for Display

(Sorry if this is in the wrong subforum, or addressed before.)
I have finally gotten enough media cases (think tall shallow bookcases) to display my collection in one place, and I am looking for suggestions on how to organize my titles. I have about 1500 blu and dvds, fairly eclectic, everything from silent classics to the latest superhero blockbuster, with a pretty generous selection of Criterions. I was thinking I would mostly organize by genre and subgenre, with special categories, perhaps by director, set aside for truly exemplary titles. For instance, I would have a section for Sci Fi, probably broken down by decade of release--But then a title like Kubrick's 2001 might go in an altogether separate section with other films of his spanning various genres. Foreign films might go by country, or perhaps only art films by country--Bicycle Thief might go under Italian, but Planet of the Vampires would go under Sci Fi. TV offerings might all go in a TV section--but then where would Band of Brothers or Decalog go? So yes I am thoroughly undecided. So what do fellow members do? Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated!
Old 07-20-16, 11:35 AM
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Re: Help with Organizing Collection for Display

I havent gotten mine organized yet but when I do, I plan something like this.

1) Standard movies : Alphabetically
2) Disney movies section -Classic aninmation - All the rest
3) Criterion section
4) Japanese Anime section
5) Perhaps an animated section with any American animation that isnt Disney
6) TV on DVD


I could break out war movies or horror or western but I think I will just leave them all together with the standard movies and just alphabetical. There are really so many way you could go. Just do what will work best for you.
Old 07-20-16, 11:38 AM
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Re: Help with Organizing Collection for Display

As far as my movies go (we won't go into books, games or cds)...I have currently three media cabinets for my movies. I would say I'm about the 1000 range. I have two large spinners which hold my blu-rays and dvds and then a third more normal type bookshelf which holds most of my television season dvds (since those take up a lot of space on their own).

All of my stuff is format first, so the blu's are together, and the dvds are together and then alphabetical. There are only a few exceptions to that, for example Planet of the Apes, I have every single movie on blu (except 2001 which I have on dvd) under P regardless if its Dawn, Rise, or just a damned dirty ape in order by release date. Same thing with the Mad Maxes even though the second one is Road Warrior. Also, I have all of my Bond stuff (Sean Connery, Timothy Dalton, Daniel Craig only) off by itself.

I have a good amount of Twilight Time blus and Criterion blus and have thought about grouping them together but at the end of the day, alphabetical has always worked for me.
Old 07-20-16, 11:41 AM
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Re: Help with Organizing Collection for Display

Most of my stuff is alphabetical by title with series together in release order. With a few exceptions:
- TV is in its own section, alphabetical by title then numerically by season.
- James Bond is organized in release order
- Music videos/films are alphabetical by title/artist
- Foreign language films are alphabetical by title (this may change soon)
- Porn is organized by title.

Blue rays and dvds are mixed together. The largest group is the regular section, followed by the TV section. The rest are pretty small and take up about half a shelf each.
Old 07-20-16, 11:48 AM
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Re: Help with Organizing Collection for Display

With that many titles I find the only way to go is just A-Z. I keep the number titles (300, 2001, 25th Hour) at the beginning before the "A's" for ease of finding them. I don't want to think about 25th Hour being sorted as "TW".

The only separation I do is with movies I haven't seen yet. I keep those in their own A-Z so I don't lose track of them. I have some 10-year plus old blind buys I still haven't watched. TV and concert discs also get their own sections.
Old 07-20-16, 02:34 PM
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Re: Help with Organizing Collection for Display

I have a collection of about 1500 DVDs, 400 Blu-rays and 300 HD-DVDs.

All are movies, no TV shows.

I separate the three formats, esthetically they look better.

I usually associate a film by the studio, so I separate them by studio ie. Warner Home Video, New Line Home Video, Paramount etc.

I don't bother alphabetizing but I generally put the Universal Home Video horror movies together, Stanley Kubrick Warner Bros titles together and so on.

I find if you keep it too organized the whole shelving unit has to be shuffled every time you add a new title.
Old 07-20-16, 02:59 PM
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Re: Help with Organizing Collection for Display

Originally Posted by bunkaroo View Post
With that many titles I find the only way to go is just A-Z. I keep the number titles (300, 2001, 25th Hour) at the beginning before the "A's" for ease of finding them.
Yep, that's how I do it. And the box sets sit above the bookcases. It's how they are arranged at Film Aficionado...makes it much easier to keep track of what you own. I may be switching to a pair of spinners that hold 1000 titles each
Old 07-20-16, 03:06 PM
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Re: Help with Organizing Collection for Display

You could always ask Alan Smithee for advice....what, c'mon folks quit looking at me like that.
Old 07-20-16, 03:30 PM
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Re: Help with Organizing Collection for Display

Originally Posted by orangerunner View Post
I usually associate a film by the studio, so I separate them by studio ie. Warner Home Video, New Line Home Video, Paramount etc.
So you have to memorize what studio released every movie you own? What do you do when a movie changes hands from one studio to another?
Old 07-20-16, 03:39 PM
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Re: Help with Organizing Collection for Display

Trust me, you have to alphabetize a collection that large from A to Z. There is simply no other way. The only things I break out from that categorization are a couple of very distinct genres - anime and music concerts.
Old 07-20-16, 04:19 PM
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Re: Help with Organizing Collection for Display

Originally Posted by bunkaroo View Post
With that many titles I find the only way to go is just A-Z. I keep the number titles (300, 2001, 25th Hour) at the beginning before the "A's" for ease of finding them. I don't want to think about 25th Hour being sorted as "TW".
Absolutely agree with the first sentence. However, I sort my numbered titles the opposite way. They all get filed alphabetically based on the spelling of the number. This way I don't have to think about whether a title has the number spelled out or numerically (most of the time I cant remember anyway), as they are all spelled out in my collection.

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
Trust me, you have to alphabetize a collection that large from A to Z. There is simply no other way. The only things I break out from that categorization are a couple of very distinct genres - anime and music concerts.
Completely agree with this statement.
Old 07-20-16, 04:29 PM
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Re: Help with Organizing Collection for Display

I have around 3000 BDs and I organize by whatever studio released that BD. Easy as can be. Putting in ABC order is a headache, especially if you are adding a lot of media every week.
Old 07-20-16, 04:41 PM
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Re: Help with Organizing Collection for Display

Breaking down by genre can get into hair-splitting territory. I know I hate shopping in stores like Best Buy that try to separate movies by genre, because it's apparently chosen by whoever was stocking the shelves that day.


I have my Criterion Collection and Fox Studio Classic sections separated since they have numbered spines, and then I have all my anime separate but all the rest is A-Z and numbered titles get sorted by how the number is spelled out (two thousand one: a space odyssey).

Aside from something like Criterion, I can't imagine how you'd keep your movies straight separating by studio. Like Josh says, what about when a studio buys another's catalog? What if a franchise jumped around to different studios?
Old 07-20-16, 05:03 PM
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Re: Help with Organizing Collection for Display

Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post
So you have to memorize what studio released every movie you own? What do you do when a movie changes hands from one studio to another?
For me, the title of the movie and its studio and/or video distributor just go hand-in-hand. It's not "work" to memorize them.

Sometimes it does get tricky, especially when some titles are MGM or MGM/Fox
or MGM/Fox/Sony, which happened for a while.

It just looks a little more uniform when you have the all of the titles from the same studio lined up as they often used the same layout template when they designed the covers.
Old 07-20-16, 05:07 PM
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Re: Help with Organizing Collection for Display

Originally Posted by milo bloom View Post
Aside from something like Criterion, I can't imagine how you'd keep your movies straight separating by studio. Like Josh says, what about when a studio buys another's catalog? What if a franchise jumped around to different studios?
It's not rocket science. It all goes by distributor, not producer. If it says Disney on the side it goes with Disney. If it says Universal it goes on my Universal shelf. Doesn't matter who's bumper appears before the film. Also helps uniformity because the spines tend to match.

I have the big Star Wars box set on the Fox shelf, Clone Wars S1-5 on the WB shelf with the CW movie, and Rebels/Force Awakens/CW: Lost Episodes on the Disney shelf.
Old 07-21-16, 09:17 AM
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Re: Help with Organizing Collection for Display

Originally Posted by DthRdrX View Post
It's not rocket science. It all goes by distributor, not producer. If it says Disney on the side it goes with Disney. If it says Universal it goes on my Universal shelf. Doesn't matter who's bumper appears before the film. Also helps uniformity because the spines tend to match.

I have the big Star Wars box set on the Fox shelf, Clone Wars S1-5 on the WB shelf with the CW movie, and Rebels/Force Awakens/CW: Lost Episodes on the Disney shelf.
Yeah, see, that's heresy.


Seriously, that would horribly confusing for not only myself, but for anybody visiting or especially my family members looking for something to watch.
Old 07-21-16, 10:14 AM
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Re: Help with Organizing Collection for Display

Originally Posted by Inhumans99 View Post
You could always ask Alan Smithee for advice....what, c'mon folks quit looking at me like that.

Old 07-21-16, 10:34 AM
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Re: Help with Organizing Collection for Display

In the end, the best solution is to use whatever works for you. I couldn't possibly arrange my collection by distributor and still be able to find anything, but it works for some people. My collection is organized like jjcool's collection above: movie DVDs in one section, TV show DVDS in another, and Blu-rays in another, each section alphabetized, with numbers that start titles alphabetized as if they were spelled out.

That's just the way my mind works; yours may work differently, and you should follow your own internal sense of logic when setting up your collection. I've got somewhere around 5,000 discs and use the organizational pattern I outlined above; a good friend has probably 8,000 discs and groups his by genre. To each his own, with nothing being wrong.
Old 07-21-16, 10:50 AM
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Re: Help with Organizing Collection for Display

ABC easy as 123. Nough said.
Old 07-21-16, 11:30 AM
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Re: Help with Organizing Collection for Display

I have close to 3,000 discs. I separate the HD media and the DVDs and then just go alphabetical, with numbers being filed as they are spelled. Larger boxsets are placed on the taller shelves above the main collection. The only genre I sort of have separated are music and concert discs, but even that isn't uniform across my collection. There are some concert films in the main collection. Also, comedians or director boxsets are typically filed according to the last name. A Martin Scorsese collection would go under S.

I've thought about doing the genre thing and have had friends tell me I should do that, but there are just too many titles that I find too difficult to classify because they straddle more than one genre.

Yes, it can sometimes be a pain in the butt to shift all those discs when you get a big order, but I find it's a small price for being able to quickly find a title. Also, I would think that any organizational method will be prone to these kinds of shifts as space becomes more of a premium b

I have also considered separating by distributors I tend to collect (Criterion, Scream Factory, Arrow, Blue Underground), but in the end, I've always felt the distributor was much less important than the title and that it would potentially make it very difficult for others to find titles within my collection. After all, most people aren't as familiar with those distributors as we are.

But my advice would be to just do whatever makes the most sense to you since you will be the one maintaining it and picking from it the most.

I will say that whatever method you use, be prepared to still sometimes have problems finding something! With collections as big as many of ours, if a friend looks at a movie and then places it in the wrong alphabetical spot, it can sometimes be hard to locate. I imagine that could become even more difficult if your organizational methods are more personalized.

Regardless of what you decide, good luck and be ready to spend a lot of time on this. It takes a long time to get a collection that size all into place.
Old 07-21-16, 11:47 AM
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Re: Help with Organizing Collection for Display

DVDProfiler says I've got 1300 titles but some are box sets/collections.
Almost everything is on two big shelves (a couple exceptions due to crazy packaging - Batman original and TAS, Pink Panther, Home Movies collection).
Straight alphabetical except where it makes sense (all "Star Wars" in S, Woody Allen box sets in W, (no, not A).
Numbers are before A.
Any deeper categorization would mean I'd have rearrange every single thing whenever I got a new title. This method makes the most sense to me and makes it easiest to find stuff.

What's your purpose - look cool on shelves, or be able to find stuff? Organize based on your need/intent.

Books - hah. A bookcase in my bedroom, 3 in the attic, 2 in the garage, and 12 boxes of books in the garage (from last year's booksale). Absolutely no order except in the attic - my few author-collections are (mostly) all together.
Old 07-21-16, 01:15 PM
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Re: Help with Organizing Collection for Display

The way you organize the titles in your movie collection is, by nature, highly personal. I don't think there's any one perfect way to do it. I try to keep my own collection organized as well as possible in a manner that makes sense to me, but trying to explain that system to anyone else will surely be puzzling.

For example, my collection is broken down by:

DVD

Those that came in standard keepcases go in Discsox sleeves in a bin.

Box sets and special packaging go on the shelf, further divided by:
- Movies
- TV shows
- Anime

Blu-ray & HD DVD (co-mingled)


Most discs that came in standard keepcases go in Discsox sleeves in a trunk. These are divided by:
- Discs I've watched
- Discs I haven't watched, but I have seen the movie before

My movie shelves have separate sections for:
- Box sets and oversized packaging
- Franchises and movie series
- SteelBooks
- Digibooks
- Criterion Collection
- Twilight Time
- Warner Archive
- 3D (if not part of another previous category)
- TV shows
- Blind-buy titles I haven't gotten around to watching

The Steelbook section has further subdivisions for: James Bond, Disney/Pixar, and Marvel.

Like several other people in this thread, I alphabetize movie titles that begin with a number by the phonetic spelling of that number, e.g. "Twenty Eight Days Later," "Two Thousand One," etc.

I also make special exemptions to the alphabetization for movies that are part of a franchise or series. Those get arranged chronologically. For example, all the Batman and Dark Knight movies are lumped together under "B" for Batman. In DVDProfiler, I have them listed as Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Begins, Batman: The Dark Knight, and Batman: The Dark Knight Rises.

I haven't decided what to do with Batman v. Superman yet since it's technically a follow-up to Man of Steel, which is not in that section.

Last edited by Josh Z; 07-21-16 at 02:14 PM.
Old 07-21-16, 01:56 PM
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Re: Help with Organizing Collection for Display

Originally Posted by milo bloom View Post
Yeah, see, that's heresy.


Seriously, that would horribly confusing for not only myself, but for anybody visiting or especially my family members looking for something to watch.
See, that heresy to me! No one touches my BDs!
Old 07-21-16, 02:52 PM
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Re: Help with Organizing Collection for Display

I like your Idea, Josh Z, of putting all your 3D titles together in one section. Don't know why I hadn't done that before. I often have friends want to watch something in 3D, and I just have to scan through the collection to find some suggestions. If I get industrious enough this weekend, I just might reorganize.
Old 07-21-16, 03:12 PM
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Re: Help with Organizing Collection for Display

Nobody's brought up double features. I keep them separate, alphabetized by first title on spine.
I keep DVDs that are available on BD on separate shelf. When I get around to buying the BD I pull that title. When a BD gets announced I pull the DVD from collection and put it on "available on BD" shelf.

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